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Derry's Pinkerton Academy looks at narrowing dress code

Union Leader Correspondent

September 22. 2013 9:58PM
Pinkerton Academy students walk to classes during the opening day of school. Administrators are considering a plan that could change the dress code for the 2014-2015 school year. (HUNTER MCGEE PHOTO)

DERRY — A proposed dress code policy for Pinkerton Academy calls for changing to “business casual” and eliminating jeans from day-to-day wear.

“The kids are all abuzz about this,” Dean of Students Glenn Ahrens said, adding, “There are a lot of options within those parameters.”

If the dress code is approved, the changes wouldn’t occur until the 2014-15 school year.

Ahrens said during an on-campus fashion show earlier this year, Student Council members modeled clothing that would be allowed under the proposed dress code, including polo shirts and even a sweater vest.

Some students said they liked the proposed options, Ahrens said. Others said, “I wouldn’t wear that in a million years,” he said.

A parents’ meeting to discuss the dress code is set for Thursday at the school.

The clothing options include khaki pants, polo shirts or button-down shirts, along with skirts, “skorts “ and shorts of appropriate length, Headmaster Mary Anderson said.

Despite having the word “Unified” in the name, the dress code is not a uniform, administrators said.

Pinkerton currently has a dress code, but it’s somewhat broader in its selections. The Unified Dress Code would narrow the choices and eliminate denim for day-to-day wear, Anderson said. Students might still be able to wear jeans occasionally as part of more casual or “dress down” days, she said.

The change wouldn’t include faculty members, as they already have their own dress code, she said.

Pinkerton Academy students Joe Ronca and his sister, Alyssa Ronca, said they have mixed emotions about the proposed changes. “I would rather wear my own clothes to be honest, and some of the stuff they’ve given us to choose from is not the most attractive and appealing,” Alyssa Ronca, a freshman, said. “But it’s not that big of a deal. It will make getting ready easier.”Her brother is a junior.

“I just think it kind of restricts my freedom,” Joe Ronca said. “I would rather wear my own clothes to school. It’s not like I’m going to protest; I’m going to go along with it if they do it, but I would rather not.”

Their father, Joe Ronca Sr., said the dress code change would allow him not to worry about his children’s clothing selections.

“A lot of it is left to interpretation,” the elder Ronca said. “So I’d rather have a dress code; that way it’s cut and dried.”

Administrators have been considering a change in the dress code for about the past 18 months. A survey administered to parents last year indicated that a majority would favor such a plan, Anderson said.

In some instances, a few students have shown up at school dressed like they were prepared to go to the beach, she said.

“They aren’t going to the beach; they are coming to school, and they have to be dressed appropriately,” Anderson said.

In a small percentage of cases, the school has sent home students wearing inappropriate clothing.

“We have a dress code now, but the kids push the limits,” Anderson said.

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